The Color filters of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.Color Filters:
Learn how to use the Red, Green, Blue filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Pretty basic stuff. Use this filter to change the color / tint of an image. Moving a slider to the right of "0" increases the amt of that color in the image. Moving a slider to the left of "0" decreases the amt. Reducing a primary color tints an image towards it's complementary color. Using the R,G,B model the complementary colors are: Red - Cyan, Green - Magenta, and Blue - Yellow.
Learn how to use the Saturation filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Also pretty simple. The Saturation filter increases, or decreases, the amount of color in an image. Moving the slider to the right of "0" increases the amount of color in an image. Moving a slider to the left of "0" decreases the amount of color. A value of -100 becomes essentially a greyscale image.
Learn how to use the Click White Balance filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Sometimes the color balance of an image ends up looking a bit off. Tungsten lights, Fluorescent lights, and even Sunlight can throw the balance off by tinting the colors to an unnatural hue. The Click White Balance tool can help realign the colors back to their natural appearance. Choose the Click White Balance tool from the Color Filters menu, and then click on what should be, a neutral shade of gray in the image. This means for instance, in a photo, if someone is wearing a shirt that you know should be white, even if it doesn't look white in the photo due to improper color balance, you should still be able to click on it to adjust the White Balance. A piece of paper, a label, a sign, or anything else that you know should be neutral, should work, as long as they are not absolute white (Red: 255, Green: 255, Blue: 255), or absolute black (Red:0, Green:0, Blue:0).
These photos are copyright 2013 John Frattura
Locally grown fruits and vegetables. Learn how to use the Click White Balance filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Original Image.
The proper White Balance version of Locally grown fruits and vegetables. Learn how to use the Click White Balance filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Adjusted White Balance.
Notice the difference between the 2 images above. The image on the left has a noticeably incorrect White Balance. One, simple click of the CheapSkate Click White Balance tool on a white label, on one of the Cherry Tomato cartons, brought the balance back into proper alignment (the image on the right).
The tool works best when it's clicked on a part of the image that should be a medium brightness shade of gray. Absolute white or absolute black won't work (they are already a perfect shade of gray). Individual pixels can have some randomness to them, so try clicking on few different spots to see what works best.
Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
It used to be when doing Black and White photography, in the prehistoric days of film cameras, photographers would have to attach colored gel filters to their cameras, or use them in the developing process, to achieve certain desired results. CheapSkate's Black and White filter accomplishes the very same thing, without the need of using actual gels.
The filter offers 9 preset color options:
A screenshot of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate. Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Three primary colors: Red, Green, and Blue.
Three secondary colors: Yellow, Cyan, and Magenta.
Orange, because it's a popular color used by photographers.
A Luminance option (the lightbulb on the left) that simply converts each pixel to grayscale, using the same brightness level of the original.
And a Human Eye option (2nd from the left).
The Human Eye option converts the image to Black and White, using a weighted formula that produces an image more in line with how the human eye perceives color. Technically, the luminance option is the correct, unbiased conversion scheme, for converting color to grayscale. But since the human eye is tuned to be more sensitive to certain wavelengths, a different formula has to be used to acheive results, more in line with how we see things. In most images, the difference between the luminance option, and the human eye option is not that dramatic, but is noticeable.
Colored Filters generally brighten areas of an image that have a lot of the chosen color, and darken those areas that have little or no amounts of that color. For instance, if you wanted to lighten something blue in an image, then the Blue filter option would be the best choice.
These photos are copyright 2013 John Frattura
Blue Poppy. Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Original Image.
Blue Poppy adjusted with the Red option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com
Red filter option.
Blue Poppy adjusted with the Blue option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com
Blue filter option.
As you can see, choosing the Blue filter option dramatically lightened the Blue Poppy, while the Red option, did not.
In landscapes, where the sky is visible, the Blue filter usually lightens the sky, at the same time making the clouds less distinct. The Red filter accomplishes just the opposite.
These photos are copyright 2013 John Frattura
Roses at Longwood Gardens. Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Original Image.
Blue Poppy adjusted with the Red option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com
Red filter option.
Blue Poppy adjusted with the Blue option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com
Blue filter option.
The Red filter generally produces pretty dramatic skies, especially where clouds are distinctly noticable against the blue sky. Of course, it's all a matter of opinion, but the Red filter usually gives the best results for landscapes.
When it comes to skintones, Blue and Red are usually too harsh to use. Red makes all but the darkest of skin look ghostly, and blue turns most peoples skin too dark.
These photos are copyright 2013 John Frattura
Girl Posing. Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Original Image.
Girl posing adjusted with Red option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com.
Red filter option.
Girl posing adjusted with the Blue option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com.
Blue filter option.
In this photo, a woman is standing in full sunlight, making her image a little over-exposed. As you can see, the Red filter makes her skin appear unnaturally bright (brighter than her smile even), and the Blue filter, although not terrible, makes her look like she has a dark tan. Of course, if her skin wasn't so light in the original photo, the blue filter would make her look even darker.
These photos are copyright 2013 John Frattura
Girl Posing adjust with the Green option of the Black and White filter of CheapSkate photo editing software, from MLR Software at mlrsoftware.com. Learn how to use the Black and White filter of CheapSkate, the free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.
Green filter option.
Although it's purely a subjective thing, in most cases, whether light skinned or dark, one of the other filter options would be better at converting a color portrait to Black and White.
For my money, the Green filter works best with this particular photo. Of course, there are times when a user might be looking to achieve something totally unnatural looking. Ghostly pale skin, glowing eyes, and any number of unusual effects can be acheived by experimenting with the different Black and White filter options. One possibility is to try tinting the color of the original image to something unusual, before converting to Black and White. Since it will end up as a grayscale image anyway, it won't matter how unnatural the color tint of the original is, before converting.
Many websites, such as Flickr and Ipernity, have (100's of) groups devoted to Black and White photography. Each of these sites contain millions of users, and are both free to join. Flickr in particular used to have tons of great Black and White photographers showcasing their stuff, and sharing ideas with amatures and pros alike. Although in the last year or so, a lot of professional photographers have bailed out of Flickr in favor of Ipernity, you can still find tons of great Black and White photos, and many Black and White photographers on both sites, to learn from.
Click here to learn how to use CheapSkate, the brand new, free photo editing software, from MLR Software, at mlrsoftware.com.Back to the Tutorial.